There is a need for an active EU policy towards the countries of origin of migrants as well as for solidarity with the states that guard the external European borders, Maltese president Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca and her counterpart and host in Sofia, Rumen Radev, agreed in talks in Bulgaria’s capital on February 5.
Cohesion policy and social convergence are at the heart of the unity and success of the European Union, Radev and Preca agreed, according to a statement by the Bulgarian President’s office, released on the first of a two-day visit to Bulgaria by the Maltese head of state.
Preca is being accompanied on her visit to Bulgaria by representatives of the executive and more than 50 Maltese companies.
At a joint news conference, the two presidents called for a swifter alignment of living standards and economic development between the North and South and the East and West in Europe.
In March 2018, the first European conference to discuss the EU’s Multi-annual Financial Framework for the post-2020 period will be held in the capital of Bulgaria, which in the first half of this year holds the rotating Presidency of the Council of the EU.
It is a good timefor European policies to focus on economic and social cohesion in Europe, Radev said.
Preca praised the motto of the Bulgarian EU Presidency, “United We Stand Strong”, and issued an assurance that the two countries will work together to build a competitive union that can promote cohesion.
Radev and Preca identified the need for an active EU policy towards the countries of origin of migrants as well as for solidarity with the states that guard the external European borders.
“A lasting solution is only possible by ensuring greater security and stabilization of the regions from where the migrants and refugees arrive and their economic and social development with special attention to education and health,” Radev said.
He said that Europe should not become a stronghold but should actively support the institutions and citizens of the crisis-affected countries to resolve their problems instead of seeking salvation in the social system of Europe.
Photo: Bulgarian President, Rumen Radev
“It is important to have a unified European asylum policy and this is one of the themes under the Presidency of the Council of the European Union,” Radev said.
Solidarity with the European countries on the front line is of utmost importance, he said.
Promoting business-to-business contacts, cooperation between airlines of the countries, as well as industrial partnership, information technology, investment and tourism are areas where Bulgaria and Malta will seek to expand bilateral economic exchanges.
Over the past 20 years, Maltese investments in Bulgaria amounted to 320 million euro, and the annual turnover was 60 million euro. Radev said the potential of the two countries for economic partnership was much greater.
“The presence of such a strong business delegation from Malta is also a sign of our commitment and of the political will we have in developing sustainable cooperation and potential partnerships to achieve prosperity for our two countries,” Preca said.
During her visit to Sofia, Preca also will be meeting Prime Minister, Boyko Borissov, National Assembly Speaker, Tsveta Karaiancheva, Deputy Prime Minister for Justice Reform and Foreign Affairs Minister, Ekaterina Zaharieva and with Minister of Health, Kiril Ananiev…/IBNA
Main Photo: Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca / EPA/BGNES